Some Basic Help Please

I’m trying to design a table base our of 2"x3"x1/8" steel tubing.

I created a component of that tubing.

Now I’m trying to put pieces of the component together, some at 60 degrees to each other, some at 90, and having difficulty.

I suspect this is very basic, but the corners don’t align precisely and the overlap creates many undesired shapes from intersections (I tried exploding the component), etc.

Any advise would sure be appreciated.

Thank you!

Images would help, how are you putting the components together, are you cutting the tubing, bending it etc?

You need to make one of the copies unique and then edit it to modify the end so that it miters with the other one. If you overlap them you can open one for edit, trace the edges of the other, and then delete the excess.

Edit: To clarify (and as @Box wrote, this is SketchUp 101), aside from location, rotation, and scale every copy (more correctly “instance”) of a component has identical geometry. To have one that has a trimmed end and another that does not, they have to be distinct components. Right-click->make unique does that.

Firstly, if you are still using the getting started toolbar I suggest you need to spend some time with the basic getting started videos.
I’m certainly not trying to be rude, smart or dismissive, but there is a certain level of understanding with any software that you need to achieve before you can understand the questions you are asking,

Thank you! I understand. Now let’s see if I can put it into practice.

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I don’t doubt for 1 second that this is basic stuff and I am at a very very basic level.

But, I really have been trying to learn this. I’ve read books and watched videos (although maybe not the right ones).

I very much appreciate your candor!

Any advice on the direction I should I from here?

Thank you!

Well, to start with, what are you trying to achieve?
You can tell us all about your shapes, but we need to know what the finished product is.


I would like to make a dining room table base out of 2"x3"x1/8" rectangular steel tubing.

Looking down the length of the table (from the short edge), I’m thinking the tubing will be connected such that it forms an isosceles trapezoid (below).

I would love to be able to adjust the angles and length sizes so I can visualize how it will look given various table top sizes, angles, and heights (and distances from edges).


Thank you!

Drawing it for any selected set of lengths and angles is straightforward, per my earlier post. Changing it to have varying lengths and angles requires drawing each one separately, as SketchUp does not have parametric modeling. The changing version could be done using Dynamic Components (a significant learning exercise in itself!). But you can’t create DCs using SketchUp Make, so that option isn’t available to you unless you purchase Pro.

Well, I’ve been working on it. I tried to pushing of the edges toward mitre, but could not make it work.

I overlapped, drew new lines, erased sections that didn’t belong, etc., etc.

I don’t know why I’m not getting this.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got:

And this:


It is unnecessarily compicated to try to build the support out of individual components. I would just use the FollowMe tool:

Or the Offset and PushPull tools:

After you have settled on the shape you can then derive the measurements of the needed parts from the model.


That is so so so much easier!

Thank you so much.

If I want to maintain angles that I know I can reliably cut and weld (30, 45, 60, 90), do I just need to the do the math for top and bottom width and height, or does this method provide a way to scale each of these (top width, bottom width, height) independently of each each to discover the various combinations with the limits of using 30/45/60 degree angles?

if you are limited by these angles, you won’t go far…miter

with scale tool, use the modifier key to scale ‘about center’ (see modifier key at bottom left status bar)

EDIT: If you do want ‘fixed’ miters, adjust the ‘follow me’ path, first.
With the yellow protractor guide tool, you can make guidelines at a corner:

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Wow! These animations are so incredibly helpful!

I’ve watched them about 100x each just to get each step.

The include so many useful (and new to me) techniques.

But, after a while, I am now able to do them. Of course, translating an idea or vision or problem into a solution and knowing which techniques should be used will be the real test.

Thank you!


@john_drivenupthewall what is the status?

Status is I’ve designed the bases and have been able to look at various widths for the tops and bottoms (and the corresponding angles, which I think shouldn’t be a problem making.

And learned some super cool techniques (that I’m still getting a feel for).

Thank you all!

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Be cautious with using this method. It’s great for quick visualizations and checking how a different configuration of parts might look and work.

But! scaling objects like this will affect the thickness and dimensions of the right and left legs. If you dimension each part, you will find that the steel channel cross section of the legs is now different from the top and bottom crossbars.


Yes, there will be distortion with this method, but at the wish of the OP:

That is why I suggested the edit method, a proportion is also visualised with an simple face.

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